Grant: $223,172 - National Institutes of Health - Aug. 28, 2009
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Award Description: Microsimulation models can be used to estimate the effect of screening and changes in population risk on colorectal cancer (CRC) outcomes, offering insights beyond those gained from either observational or randomized studies. Over the past two years, we have built a new microsimulation model for the natural history of CRC, and we are in the process of refining our screening model. We propose to use our model to estimate the impact of CRC screening on observed population trends in CRC incidence and mortality, expanding our focus to include the impact of risk factors on both observed and projected CRC outcomes. Our proposed work centers around three specific aims: Specific Aim 1: Estimating the effect of screening and polypectomy on trends in CRC incidence and mortality within the US population using our population-based microsimulation model. In particular, we will examine the impact of screening as practiced on CRC outcomes, and the potential impact of different guideline recommended screening strategies on CRC outcomes. Specific Aim 2: Extending our natural history model to incorporate the effects of individual risk factors (e.g., smoking, obesity) on CRC outcomes, and extending our screening model to explore the potential impact of new technologies on future trends in CRC outcomes. Explicit incorporation of risk factors is needed to estimate the effect of future changes in risk factors on outcomes, and to assess our Nation's ability to reduce CRC incidence and mortality. We will begin by estimating the effect of changes in a hypothetical risk factor on CRC outcomes, providing critical information about the relationship between risk factors and cancer outcomes. Ultimately, we will estimate the impact of changes in risk on CRC outcomes by building secular trends in risk factor behavior into our models. Specific Aim 3: Collaborating with both CISNET members and other investigators to address policy-relevant questions. Our proposed work is best carried out in collaboration with colleagues in the Cancer Incidence and Surveillance Modeling Network (CISNET). The positive synergy of this group has enabled our team to rapidly develop and implement our microsimulation model for CRC.
Project Description: During the first quarter of the project we have focused on hiring staff, purchasing hardware, and and moving forward with our workplan. Because of multiple newly funded projects, we had to advertise to hire a new Research Associate, and then carry out interviews to fill this position. We have interviewed four excellent candidates and are now in the process of making an offer to our top candidate, an epidemiologist with a background in colorectal cancer screening. We hope to bring on this new staff member within the month. We carried out additional research as moved to purchase computers to carry out additional simulations. We found that rather than purchasing two computers, a single multi-processer would provide more speed and efficiency. We are expecting delivery of our new hardware within the week. The programmer has begun to explore different approaches for incorporating extracolonic features into our microsimulation model. We have also made initial contact with our consultants at ACRIN, who have been separately funded to carry out a chart review that will assess downstream effects of extracolonic findings. We are in the process of working with them to complete step 1 of our funding ?Selecting key diseases associated with extracolonic findings?, though this work has been slowed by the need to hire a new epidemiologist. By the next reporting period, we expect to have an initial list of diseases associated with extracolonic findings (our first step) and to have made significant progress towards estimating the prevalence of these diseases during the preclinical screen-detectable disease (our second step). At that point, we should also have a good sense of whether it will be possible to model all extracolonic features, or whether it would be more useful to focus only on abdominal aortic anneuryisms.
Jobs Summary: 1) Biostatistician with expertise in microsimulation modeling - retained 0.05 2) Programmer with expertise in object-oriented programming - retained 0.20 (Total jobs reported: 0)
Project Status: Less Than 50% Completed
This award's data was last updated on Aug. 28, 2009. Help expand these official descriptions using the wiki below.